Long Clawson Dairy was founded in 1911 when 12 farmers from the picturesque Vale of Belvoir formed a co-operative to produce Stilton Cheese in the village of Long Clawson, in the heart of Leicestershire. Devoted to producing the very best in Stilton cheese, it is constantly building upon its portfolio, which currently boasts over 30 products, including traditional Blue Stilton, Blue Shropshire and Blue Vinney. The company operates from three main sites, Long Clawson, Harby and Bottesford, all of which play a vital role in delivering the end product to the customer.
The premium cheese manufacturer is supplier to major supermarkets throughout the UK including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer. It produces many different sizes of cheese, ranging from small wedges weighing 60g to 650g for supermarkets right up to bulk cheese weighing from one kg to eight kgs for the company�s deli and wholesaler customers.
A fifth of Long Clawson Dairy�s production is also exported overseas to areas such as the USA, Canada, Europe and the Far East. With such an impressive customer portfolio, high standards and quality control must be met at all times.
Long Clawson has a longstanding relationship with Loma Systems spanning almost 15 years. It started with two metal detectors positioned at the end of each packaging line, when the cheese has been wrapped securely and has minimal chance of being contaminated or tampered with. As Long Clawson Dairy�s success has continued to grow, so has its production facility, and now its factory at Long Clawson runs six production lines simultaneously.
When extra metal detectors were required to meet increasing levels of demand two years ago, Long Clawson decided to upgrade all of their machines and selected three manufacturers to review, Loma Systems being one of them. Price, functionality, service and support were all vital components Long Clawson was searching for in its chosen supplier. After extensive testing, Loma proved to be the best to suit Long Clawson�s needs and its IQ2 machines were selected.
According to Peter Tinsley, Packing Administration Manager at Long Clawson Dairy: "We have worked with other inspection system providers in the past, but our experience of their after sales service was disappointing. However, Loma�s service and support over the years has been second to none. If any problems or complications occur we are safe in the knowledge that we have instant support from Loma�s service team. Essentially, when equipment breakdown equates to hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pounds of lost revenue, minimising that downtime is the number one priority. Loma appreciates that time is always of the essence and reacts instantly."
Stilton, as with all cheeses, has varying levels of salt and water, making the detection of metal contaminants an even harder task than usual. This is because these components have very similar properties to metal, meaning it is essential for metal detectors to be able to accurately compensate for these adverse effects.
Peter continues: "We needed to be sure that our operators could reset all machines with ease - Loma�s metal detectors take no time to calibrate and perfectly suit our
demands for accuracy and user friendliness."
Loma�s metal detectors at Long Clawson are also supplied with lockable reject bins to ensure that no rejected product can be returned to the production flow. This functionality supports Long Clawson Dairy�s health and safety standards as the locked bin prevents operators� hands being caught in the machines.
In addition to the metal detectors situated at the end of each packing line, the cheese goes through another 1Q2 machine prior to the cutting stage. This is to safeguard the
ultra sonic blade which, if came into contact with any metal, would be damaged and therefore bring production to a halt, not to mention that it would cost thousands of
pounds to replace.
Major supermarkets operating on a national scale require their suppliers to meet specific health and safety criteria. Long Clawson is no exception and must prove to their customers that processes are in place to meet certain standards, HACCP being one of them. HACCP therefore forms a key part of Long Clawson�s due diligence process. Indeed, the quality control department checks the IQ2 machines every thirty minutes, putting test cases through each one to confirm operating levels are met. Every performance is recorded and filed at the end of each day.
Peter comments: "Our customers expect us to adhere to rigid health and safety standards to minimise any chance of contaminants slipping through the net. We must therefore safeguard our business and our customer�s business by meeting such regulations. In fact, penalties can be imposed by multiples if a product has to be withdrawn due to injury to the end user, so it is essential that we go to all lengths to
prevent this from happening. The more reliable the systems on the production line are, the more we are able to protect our investment."
Peter concluded: "Loma meets all of our contaminant detection requirements and our 15 year partnership is testament to that. Loma�s service, support, communication and reliability are fantastic and I have no doubt they will continue to support us moving forward."
For further information, visit www.loma.com